Ten months ago Donald Trump sent his StormTrumpers to Capitol Hill with instructions to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. He instigated the violence against members of Congress and even his own vice-president, Mike Pence. He ignored the pleas for help from the besieged representatives. He deliberately delayed the deployment of law enforcement.
When Trump finally addressed the insurrectionists, he didn’t condemn their hostilities. He told them that he loved them. And nearly a year later he has not wavered from his position condoning and inciting further violence in an unlawful and futile attempt to hijack democracy and anoint himself America’s Dictator.
Friday’s New York Times published an article that delved into the increasingly hostile tendencies of today’s Republican Party. It recognized the growing potential for harm and the ever more brazen calls for violent action by the right against fellow Americans with whom they have political disagreements.
The article began by reporting on a question asked by an attendee of the ultra-conservative Turning Point USA conference. “When do we get to use the guns?” he said as the audience applauded. “How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?” Whereupon Charlie Kirk, the group’s leader, replied that he had to denounce the question. But his reason for doing so was because it allegedly “played into” the nefarious plot of liberals. He didn’t denounce it because it was a disgusting endorsement of political assassination and murder. In other words, his denunciation was purely political, and not remotely moral.
The article went on to describe additional examples of how the right embraced violence. For instance, referring to government health experts advocating wearing masks and getting vaccinated to mitigate the spread of the COVID pandemic, Ohio senate candidate, Josh Mandel, said “When the Gestapo show up at your front door, you know what to do.” And this attitude is becoming more common on the right. According to the Times:
“Polling indicates that 30 percent of Republicans, and 40 percent of people who ‘most trust’ far-right news sources, believe that ‘true patriots’ may have to resort to violence to ‘save’ the country — a statement that gets far less support among Democrats and independents.”
The malevolency of the right was also spelled out in the Times’ article with a particularly appalling section that featured three Republican candidates for office who were endorsed by Trump. Each of them have pending allegations of spousal abuse:
“Herschel Walker, the former professional football player running for Senate in Georgia, is accused of repeatedly threatening his ex-wife’s life, but won Mr. Trump’s endorsement.” [and…]
“Trump also backed the Ohio congressional campaign of Max Miller, who faces allegations of violence from his ex-girlfriend, the former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.” [and…]
“Sean Parnell, a Senate candidate in Pennsylvania who was endorsed by Mr. Trump, appeared in court this week in a custody fight in which his estranged wife accuses him of choking her and physically harming their children.”
These are the sort of people that Trump and his cult disciples find appealing as representatives. They are also fond of Rep. Paul Gosar who recently “tweeted an anime video altered to show him killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and swinging two swords at Mr. Biden.”
This repulsive behavior isn’t limited to Trump and his Republican confederates. Fox News has been excusing and exalting violence as well. And The Times closed their article with an incident directed at Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell. The article said that she…
“…was threatened by men with assault weapons outside her home last year after she was denounced by Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show. […] ‘They ought to try you for treason,’ one caller screamed in a lengthy, graphic voice mail message. ‘I hope your family dies in front of you. I pray to God that if you’ve got any children, they die in your face.'”
If Democrats don’t manage to shore up their support across the country, Republicans could take control of Congress and fill it with people like those described above. They could continue their efforts to undermine democracy, and find a way to coronate Trump. And if they can’t do it by gerrymandering and suppressive legislation, they obviously have no qualms about resorting to violence.
Democrats have a great deal of accomplishments to pitch themselves to the American people. They have successfully rolled out the coronavirus vaccinations. They have passed an infrastructure bill that is an investment in the nation’s future. They are advocating more policies that are broadly popular with majorities of the populace. So they have a positive case for support to make. They better start doing it, and keep it up for the next couple years.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.